I had a 1963 Chevy as my first car. She was blue with vinyl seats, no radio, and no air conditioning. It was the summer of 1994. I had just finished my sophomore year of high school and faced my senior year because I could. And I needed her to carry me from my hometown to a nearby community college for classes. I drove the long, lonely road between towns with the windows down and my newly shortened hair flying. The music existed only in my heart, but it was just as real as any.

We seemed so advanced then. Yet we had no iPod, iPad, iTunes, or any other iProduct. We had few cell phones and even fewer towers way out near the edge of the world. Cameras required winding and film. And everyone everywhere was hot and sticky, even if they did have the great fortune of air conditioning.


That ’63 Chevy revved her personality much more often than her engine. I warned my friends to speak no ill of her, as her feelings were quite fragile. Inevitably, someone would say something and she’d stall in the middle of an intersection. Now, we had only a couple blinking traffic lights in town. It wasn’t so much the danger as the inconvenience.


Sometimes I almost think I can smell that car’s interior. It smelled of age and heat and dusty abandon. It smelled of freedom.